About wayfinding

Wayfinding is more than designing signs.

It usually also involves planning where the signs go and what they say; it can also involve considering the strategies people use to find the way to their destination and how the building or space can be arranged so that people can find their way as intuitively as possible; it can also involve thinking about brand and place-making.

Invariably the work demands an understanding of the users of the signs. For instance: are they in a hurry, and how easily can they read English, and ultimately what are they trying to achieve?

A good question to ask is: can people find their destinations without using signs, what other means are available? Maybe the smell of freshly roasted coffee is far more persuasive at leading people to your cafe than any sign saying ‘cafe this way’.

There can be a lot to resolve before one actually starts designing any signs. And then when designing starts there’s a further set of considerations both practical (the sign has to work), and aesthetic (it has to have the right look and feel), about issues such as reading distances, illumination, materials, surface finishes, colours, and so on.

The University of Reading campus in Malaysia, for which I designed external and internal wayfinding, has been shortlisted for an award at the World Architecture Festival 2013.

To find out more please email me or phone +44 (0)7974 176656.

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